Taking the children to the school bus stop in bad weather today

A weary and disrupted day after a late night taking the kids to the school bus stop, reviewing my investments with BZW, receiving an ineffective gas plumber and Colin Howard with regard to photos and frames. An evening visit from Nigel, reviewing property and other investments and a jointly gloomy view of the economy

A bit late to bed watching the TV snooker. Steve Davis beat his opponent, Jimmy White, by two frames. Couldn’t sleep easily and so rolled over to give attention to Di. She accepted it in good grace, but complained terribly this morning. I got up reasonably on time for a change and, after breakfast, I went out to feed the ducks and doves, to make up for yesterday. They seemed not to have suffered any ill effects. Then to take Debbie and Daniel to the bus stop on the old Great North Road, where the school bus stops. Debs was still a little unwell this morning and it was raining and cold as well. I noticed that just about all of the Kimboltonians were taken to that bus stop by car this morning and that none of them were wearing their coats! This in contrast to the legions of Longsands state school children that were all wrapped up against the cold. Strange! Once home, I got quickly to my desk and contacted Peter Roy, Director of my stockbrokers BZW, and discussed some ideas with him.

I had decided to sell a large tranche of gilts (3% 1990) and buy index-linked 2003 and 2006 gilts, as well as using the balance to pay my stock purchase account. I acknowledged that this stance would be bearish on long term trends, but I am prepared to settle for modest and safe returns over inflation, rather than the tribulations of equity. I did buy a unit (£40K) of shares in one pharmaceutical company that were very low. The market fell some 70 points on FT100, justifying this view. A slightly disrupted morning, as first the gas fitter came to call and examined our boiler (putting off a repair until Friday), and then Colin Howard was round for his photographs and maps for copying and framing. I did not get a great deal else done before lunchtime. Diana had needed to help as a volunteer at playschool today, as three ‘Mum Helpers’ had failed to turn up. This rather put her out as well. A sandwich lunch for Di (though I made myself a salad instead) and then this afternoon sorting out my outstanding items and bills and then putting press cuttings into my Little Paxton archive. Tea with the family. Debbie is better and fares well in her exams, Daniel is as uninformative as ever. Della’s friend, Cory, came round to play this afternoon, without her mother, and they did argue somewhat. This evening, my friend Nigel Smith came round and we chatted about all and sundry until quite late. He thinks that there are property bargains to be had in nearby Rushden, prior to electrification of the railway, and I told him about my plans to buy a riverside meadow. Apart from grazing, fishing and willows, he has added shooting to the list of profitable pursuits that can be considered there. We are both rather gloomy about the economy. Late to bed again tonight, quite tired as a result of a number of unproductive exertions recently.